Founder and Chief Executive Officer, WordSmithRapport | USA
Being a ‘creator' is about unleashing your desire to bring something new and valuable into fruition and executing on that vision in a way that positively impacts the lives of others. Embracing the posture of a creator has challenged me to take an active role in designing a life that I love and to develop the tools that position others to do the same, both personally and professionally.
Grit is the first, and probably the most accurate, word that comes to mind when I think about how I arrived at my current career path. Whether it was the process of becoming an attorney, launching my professional development firm 6 years ago, or writing my first book, nothing I've achieved has been easy. Every endeavor has been met with its own, unique challenges and has forced me to examine my strengths and weaknesses, as well as step outside of my comfort zone to achieve new levels of excellence. That said, one of the biggest challenged I faced along the way was coming to terms with my own self-limiting beliefs and learning to eliminate the “box,” which represents the mental and emotional shackles that bind our thinking and behavior.
Two of my most important achievements as a ‘creator ‘ have been the creation of the professional development firm, WordSmithRapport (www.wordsmithrapport.com) and publishing my first book, ‘Poised For Excellence: Fundamental Principles of Effective Leadership in the Boardroom and Beyond’ (Palgrave Macmillan). In each of these endeavors, I've had an extraordinary opportunity to influence the lives of high-potentials and high-performers, as well as leading organizations across the globe, whose ultimate goals have been to achieve greater impact and strategic influence. My work in these areas represents a life-long journey aimed at helping others achieve high levels of excellence.
Entrepreneurship, while an exciting proposition, is much more than a notion. The idea of being solely responsible for your own enterprise, along with the challenges associated with producing income-generating goods and/or services, can be daunting. However, beginning with the end in mind and getting tangible insights on how to manage, sustain and scale the business, will help you to succeed in the long run.
By the same token, writing a book can be equally as daunting. The rewards, however, far outweigh any of the difficulties you may face during the process. Sharing a message that matters with the world is one of the most empowering acts of service that you can perform. Welcome the opportunity to be vulnerable, elevate your voice to the world-wide stage and leverage the platform to expand your reach and impact.
I see women positioning themselves as ‘creators' by continuing to remove barriers to entry and leading the way forward by encouraging more women to launch private enterprises across industries. This kind of unfettered support will help women to achieve competitive advantage within the marketplace and grow the economy at increasingly impressive rates. I also see women being empowered by the idea of courageously elevating their voices on the world stage, and creating bodies of work that will illuminate uncommon pathways to success for all, both personally and professionally.
“As women, we are best positioned as allies, rather than fierce competitors. Therefore, we must change the way we see each other and the complexity of sisterhood, as well as the way we approach the sanctity of our intimate and business relationships.”
Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq., is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of WordSmithRapport™, and brings more than two decades of comprehensive, blue chip experience in law, business, and academia to the field of human capital asset growth and professional development. A leading authority in cutting-edge adult education, Karima is distinguished by her commitment to excellence and extraordinary talent for elevating executive brands around the globe. Masterful at her craft, she advises individuals and organizations on the dynamics of leadership development, complex communication and performance management. Her shrewd ability to identify nuances and empower clients to achieve greater purpose and results is what makes Karima an indispensable asset in today's competitive global environment. As an extension of her work, she speaks regularly both nationally and internationally in her areas of expertise.
Prior to founding WordSmithRapport™, Karima spent more than a decade working exclusively with corporate litigation based firms where she focused on corporate compliance, commercial transactions, and complex foreign litigation. Introduced to the world of complex litigation while clerking for the late Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr., she learned to manage voluminous caseloads and developed an affinity for resolving high-stakes disputes. For the past ten years she has served diligently as a trusted advisor to the Lawyer Assistance Committee for the Lawyer Assistance Program of the District of Columbia Bar, a confidential program that provides assistance to lawyers, judges, and law students who experience problems that interfere with their personal lives or their ability to serve as counsel or officers of the court.
She is the President of the Global Advisory Board for the Women's Global Leadership Initiative and has served on global advisory councils in Egypt and India, providing strategic advice to organizations seeking to engage international stakeholders. Additionally, she sits on the Board of Directors and serves on the Governance Committee for The Franklin Foundation for Innovation. She previously served in a reciprocal capacity for the African Energy Association. Karima is also featured on SheSource, an online brain trust of female experts on diverse topics designed to serve journalists, producers, and booking agents who need female guests and sources.
A native of California, Karima launched her academic career at the University of California Davis, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Following graduation, she was awarded an Academic Fellowship at Cornell University, where she joined faculty in researching, evaluating and presenting fundamental issues on multicultural education. Upon returning from Ithaca, she accepted a position with the legislative and regulatory firm, State Net | California Journal, where she cut her teeth in the field of professional development and liaised with members of Congress, Congressional staff, and executives in the public and private sectors. She earned her Juris Doctor in New England at the Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, RI and clerked for the Honorable Jacob Hagopian, United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island.
Karima is the author of Poised For Excellence (Palgrave Macmillan) and is featured in Flat World Navigation: Collaboration and Networking in the Global Digital Economy (KoganPage). She is a former member of the Forbes Coaches Council, an invitation-only community for top tier business, career and professional coaches whose industry success has been publicly recognized. Currently, Karima sits on the Editorial Board for the Silent Warrior, a publication produced by the Augustus F. Hawkins Foundation, and is a regular contributor to the Human Capital Institute, Entrepreneur, Success, Black Enterprise, and Speaker magazines, where she provides expert insight on professional development topics across industries.